Notice your body. Are you tense, relaxed, tired, energized?
Notice your mind. Is it sharp, busy, calm?
Notice your heart. What are you feeling?
Notice your spirit. What do you need right now?
Then Peter said to Jesus, “Lord, how many times should I forgive my brother or sister who sins against me? Should I forgive as many as seven times?”
Jesus said, “Not just seven times, but rather as many as seventy-seven times.”
Forgiveness is hard. I think Peter knows this, and that’s why he asks Jesus this question. 77 times is a lot of forgiveness. Some translations say as many as 70×7 times, meaning as many as 490. In other words, always. Always forgive.
I admit, I don’t always like Jesus’ answer, and I have a lot of questions. What if I’m not ready to forgive? What if this person hasn’t changed at all? What if they’re not even sorry?
Forgiveness doesn’t mean we can’t set boundaries. It doesn’t mean we have to allow harm to continue to happen. It doesn’t mean we can’t communicate how we would like to be treated, or even put healthy distance between us and someone else.
But I do believe forgiveness helps us to heal. I believe it helps us move on. I believe that it helps us see others as worthy of grace, even if we aren’t ready to be the ones to offer it.
Question to Ponder:
When was forgiveness hard? How did it feel to offer or withhold it?
Sometimes, God, I don’t want to forgive.
I want to stay in my bitterness.
Still, I hope you’ll meet me there and remind me there is more.
Give thanks for here. For now. For you. Amen.